When the chicks were quite small, some of our play with them looked a bit like training. We’d see if they’d come to our call of “Here, chickens!” and later, to their own name. We asked them to be gentle when pecking food from our hands, and later, in their own daily negotiations of social order. “Be gentle!” This is a little video of them responding when we asked them to jump up.
Aside from being delightful, the idea behind training chickens for us is to make it easier for us to keep them safe. We can give them more freedom in this predator-ridden area, when we know that “Here, chickens!!” works to round them up. We’re also learning their language of warnings and expressions of joy and worry and hunger and sleepiness. We wonder at their intelligence every day, they are fascinating creatures.